Brews on the Bay: Beer with a View

What would be better than enjoying a nice cold beer on a summer afternoon? Enjoying a nice cold local craft brew, that’s what! The best place to enjoy a comprehensive selection of local craft beers in San Francisco is the annual Brews on the Bay event, hosted by the San Francisco Brewers Guild.

This year marks the 8th anniversary, and the event will be taking place on September 10th from 12-5pm. This year the event will feature 21st Amendment, Anchor, Beach Chalet, Gordon Biersch, Magnolia, Social Kitchen, Speakeasy, and Thirsty Bear breweries. Each vendor will be sharing the staple favorites that locals all know and love; they will also feature seasonal beers that are only available on tap at their breweries.

This local event originated “to fill a void for a unique SF craft beer event” and has only gained popularity since its humble beginnings in 2004, says event coordinator Dave McLean. “Allan Paul, founder of SF Brewing Company (the first brewpub in SF) . . . spearheaded the early planning and production efforts of Brews on the Bay,” Dave states.

Thirsty Bear Beer Sampler. Photo by Melissa Vogt

The event’s unique location, the S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien, has “so much history and tradition there…that’s a big part of what drives craft beer, too, so it’s a good fit” for Brews on the Bay. The affair is a true representation of local community—bringing local craft breweries together to share with community members, and using the ticket sales to fund raise for and support the National Liberty Ship Memorial. The National Liberty Ship Memorial is an all-volunteer group that helps to restore the S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien, since it is one of two remaining original Liberty ships from WWII that is fully functioning.

The newest addition to the annual event is Social Kitchen Brewery. Another change-up this year is the addition of Anchor Brewing Company, who has decided to partake in the festivities. “We’ve [also] partnered with different food vendors . . . bringing on local food heroes like Fatted Calf and Orson Restaurant . . .sometimes keeping it in the family with [restaurant] breweries like Thirsty Bear and Gordon Biersch,” Dave states.  This year “we’ve worked with Matt Cohen of Off the Grid to bring several food trucks into the event.”

By bringing together good food, good people, and good beer, the event aims to channel the “sense of community and camaraderie among craft brewers,” in hopes to “spread the word about San Francisco craft beer,” Dave proclaims. “It’s very gratifying to experience the deep connection SF seems to feel with its homegrown craft breweries.” There’s no doubt that local Bay Area residents take pride in their local craft brews and this event is a great way to experience them all under one roof—or on one ship deck—in this case.

Dave McLean is excited to be a part of Brews on the Bay and looks forward to next week’s event. “To brew beer in SF is to feel a deep connection to our craft’s roots and I love the made-in-SF aspect of Brews on the Bay. It’s a special thing to be able to share over 50 beers with the community,” and not to mention the “perfect setting . . . looking out over the Bay, Alcatraz, the Headlands, and back at the City skyline from the waterfront,” Dave states in anticipation of the upcoming extravaganza.

Top image: A tasty beer line up from Gordon Biersch Restaurant and Brewery. Photo courtesy of

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